Questions tagged [taxonomy]

Questions on the classification of biological organisms, and the methods used for classifying them.

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Order of iNaturalist taxon levels

Purpose I want to take a collection of iNaturalist observations and build a tree diagram of the taxonomic levels that occur in that sample. Background Most of us have seen diagrams like this or like ...
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1 answer
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Animal specific names with non-alphabetic characters

I'm part of a research team that investigates and documents native bee species, and we identified one of our Andrena specimens as A. w-scripta. With over ten years of experience in insect and ray-...
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What are the apomorphies of Streptophyta that delineate them from Chlorophyta in Viridiplantae?

I'm reading through Plant Systematics, 3rd Edition by Michael G. Simpson, and am having a hard time understanding the differences between the Chlorophytes and Streptophytes - discussed in Chapter 3: ...
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Humans are Apes are Primates. But will they remain so?

Not a biologist here as you will propably be able to tell. I understand that throughout the tree of life each species at the leaves at the same time also belongs to all the parent categories up the ...
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What organism is this? Repetitive, long thread, double spikes, ... (from a human sputum sample) [closed]

Link to video Collected in Portugal.
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Identify grasshopper species

I found this grasshopper on a house door in central Italy. It did not move for the whole day. I can tell it's a grasshopper, however I am unable to determine the exact species. Size: ca. 6cm Feel free ...
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What morphological traits can be used to diagnose members of the Eucalypteae?

I read the Wikipedia article on Eucalypteae and it doesn't actually say what these plants have in common. (I am now reading through https://bsapubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.3732/ajb.1200025 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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RNA sequencing and taxonomic analysis of gut microbiome

I've been searching for methods of RNA sequencing, and I always find that the step of rRNA removal is emphasized. However, in my research, I need to analyze both functional and taxonomic data from the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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meaning of the name "Dictyostelium discoideum"

Dictyostelium discoideum is a well-known species of slime mould. Does anyone know what the name means? Here's my best guess. I found the 1935 article in which it was first described, but there doesn't ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What do you call members of a same species that show some morphological differences depending on their environment and/or diet?

What do you call members of a same species that exhibit a number of morphological differences depending on their environment and/or diet? I was thinking of the term "different phenotypes," ...
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Why is the author citation of Polypodium porosum (C. Presl) Mett.?

I would like to understand what constitutes a valid taxonomic description of a species in botany and by chance I encountered this example (which I otherwise know nothing about). Either Pyrrosia porosa ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can DNA barcoding be employed to determine the order of an unidentified haematophagous parasite?

Given: a specimen of an unidentified, highly adapted, haematophagous parasite, perhaps a species nova, contaminated with mammal blood and tissue. DNA barcoding is readily used to identify cryptic ...
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Can you identify this caterpillar?

Hi on my walk home in may i found this larvae crawling on a small road between grass and fields. All the yellowish larvae i know are looking totally differend than this. The origin of this picture is ...
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What is the current accepted taxonomy of the Citrus genus, and how do common cultivated fruits fit into it?

I want to learn about the taxonomy of Citrus, and how cultivated fruits fit into it. I know that the history of cultivated citrus fruits is full of hybridisation and that the taxonomic classifications ...
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Is the Orca a Whale?

I've read that "all dolphins are whales". I've also read that "the killer whale (orca) is a type of dolphin" and that "orcas are not whales, they're dolphins." But if the ...
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References for historical momentum in asexual species definitions

For sexually reproducing organisms, the scope of a species is somewhat fixed by reproductive compatibility. However, this all collapses for organisms that exclusively reproduce asexually. Here, my ...
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Question about the use of Var. in different species

I just recently started studying Taxonomy and seem that I am the only one that got such question in the Internet...so pardon if this is a silly question...and my silly grammar because it is not my ...
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How can I learn botany/plant ID by myself?

I am interested in sources and methods regarding botany and plant ID, and being a self-taught person. Textbooks, sites etc. Thank you all in advance!
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to convert a genus name to a noun or adjective

Consider the crayfish family Cambaridae. As I understand it, this familial name can be turned into an English noun or adjective by changing the first letter to lower case and dropping the "ae.&...
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1 vote
1 answer
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A word that includes plants and fungi, but not animals [closed]

Hello biologists and biology enthusiasts! I am working on a project which includes information about plants and fungi. It would be very helpful for me if there a word that means plants-and-fungi, but ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
248 views

Are animal cells animals themselves?

If all life can be divided into several kingdoms, and if the cells that make up organisms are the smallest units of life, does that mean that cells are part of those kingdoms as well? E.g. are animal ...
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Is amphibians being descended from fish reflected in the animalia taxonomy?

I think it is common knowledge that amphibians are descended from fish. At some point there was a transition from sea to land. But when I try to confirm this through the Animalia taxonomy, the ...
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3 votes
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Is there a taxonomy of species with emergence and extinction dates?

I know the NCBI has a list of each species and their place in the evolutionary tree. But do they have the dates that these species existed? Does any such database (partial or complete) exist anywhere? ...
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What is the current state of research on the relationship between sponges, ctenophores, and other animals?

I've been reading about the basal taxonomy of animals recently, and it seems as though there is some controversy surrounding the classification of sponges, ctenophores (comb jellies), and all other ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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confusion in types and kingdom system of classification

I am a high school student and I want to ask: is the 'kingdom system' of classification (two-kingdom, three-kingdom etc.) different from artificial or natural classification? I am asking this because ...
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2 votes
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What websites biologists use to check what new plant or animal species have been discovered in the world?

What are the databases or websites that biologists use to check what new plants or animals have been found in the world? The service should list the location of the discovery, time of discovery, image ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are diplobacillus physically connected?

I know that a diplobacillus is a bacillus bacteria that has a buddy 'attached' to it. What I haven't been able to determine is exactly how is it 'attached'? Are their cell membranes fused - are they ...
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What author citation and abbreviation does (would) a monarch or a crown prince get after publishing a new taxon name?

Even though taxonomic rules appear to be silent about this (I've checked ICN Art. 46 and ICZN Art. 51), author citations, as well as abbreviations, are usually based on a surname. However, monarchs ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

I have read that during the Second World War, some mosquitoes got trapped in the London underground railway system. The mosquitoes never got out and eventually they became a new species by themselves. ...
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Examples of species whose extinct common ancestor is well documented?

If we follow the ascendence line of two closely related species we can build a "Theoretical" common ancestor, whose characteristics were inherited with few differences by the offspring. <...
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3 votes
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When a 'v' letter should be changed to 'w' in botanical nomenclature?

When should be 'v' changed to 'w' in botanical names? (especially ones derived from names originally written in cyrillics). The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants says ...
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Eukaryotic DNA polymerase in Leading and Lagging Strand

Different books say a different specifications on which eukaryotic DNA polymerase work in leading strand and which DNA polymerase work in lagging strand. TL,DR: Which one is reality? and if there ...
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What defines a single organism?

I suppose what prompts me to ask this question is my wondering if it is possible to have a multicellular prokaryotic organism. For instance, can a biofilm be considered a single organism? Why or why ...
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1 vote
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Help me identify Grasshopper

I found this Grasshopper in Goa/India. It was about 2cm long. I suspect it is from Cataloipus genus or Gomphocerinae subfamily. Am i correct or it also seems to be juvenile from some other species?
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2 answers
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What could the etymology of Phallodriline be?

I'm reading about a series of gutless worms described in several papers as phallodrilines. A search in the World Register of Marine Species shows that there is a subfamily called "Phallodrilinae", but ...
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2 votes
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How many kingdoms are there actually?

I am wanting to learn (memorise) some of the tree of life; the classification of organisms. So I have come across a lot of kingdoms in my research. Basically, I don’t want to waste my time learning ...
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0 votes
2 answers
65 views

Umbrella term for "parts of the brain"

I am looking for an umbrella term for general "parts of the brain", esp. for (somehow arbitrary) "subsets of neurons". For the tree of life there is an umbrella term for all kinds of taxonomic groups ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why are Excavata called "Excavata"?

The explanation given in my textbook is: Some members of this diverse group also have an “excavated” feeding groove on one side of the cell body. (Campbell Biology) This still isn't clear, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What does it mean to share similarities among living organisms "both horizontally and vertically"?

I came across the following lines in a textbook (NCERT biology for class 11). Systematic and monumental description of life forms, brought in, out of necessity, detailed systems of identification, ...
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What is the current status of the taxon Crocodylus raninus?

What is the current status of the taxon Crocodylus raninus, the Borneo Crocodile? See Wikipedia Is it now a valid species, a subspecies of Crocodylus porosus (The Saltwater Crocodile) or merely a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Helix aspersa or Cornu aspersum

The common garden snail was originally assigned as Helix aspersa and stayed that way for over 200 years. Recently, some biologists assigned it to the genus or subgenus Cornu renaming it to Cornu ...
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2 votes
1 answer
804 views

Is a lion a bony fish?

If you ask Wikidata "Does the species lion (Q140) have a parent taxon line up to the Osteichthyes (Q27207, bony fishes)?", it answers yes: ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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What does it mean to have square brackets around a genus name?

For example [Eubacterium] rectale
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3 votes
1 answer
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How does taxonomy work? The case of the Avian Dinosaurs

I recently discovered that the class Aves (or Birds) has been renamed Avian Dinosaurs. My question is when this taxonomic denomination achieved the consensus of the scientific community and through ...
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3 votes
2 answers
312 views

What is a "Valid Species"?

I read in a reference book on Google Books (Biology of Termites: a Modern Synthesis, eds. Bignell, Roisin, and Lo) that the termite Heterotermes perfidus found on the South Atlantic island of St ...
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3 votes
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Laurasia and Gondwana [closed]

The Cambrian explosion was 540 mya. Laurasia and Gondwana didnt collide until 330 mya. So for 210 million years the land was divided into two large continents. Plants and insects had already colonized ...
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Are there species which is debatable if they should be classified as animals or plants?

I'm watching a sci fi series and a character who is a biologist claims "even on Earth there are species which is debatable if they should be classified as animals or plants". I looked for examples of ...
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Database for Macroinvertebrate Taxonomy

I compiled different data sets of invertebrate occurrences across some countries and now I want to ensure that all the taxonomic information is homogenized and correct. To this end, I am looking for a ...
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What are the differences between insects and spiders?

I have always been told that a spider is not an insect, since the former has 8 legs and the latter 6 legs. Is it just a matter of definition and spiders could have been defined as "8-legged insects"? ...
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How to define ammonites?

I miss the definition of ammonite. In my opinion, many authors confuse the term "Ammonite" and "Ammonoid". Ammonoids (Ammonoidea) are large group of cephalopods including for example goniatites (...
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